Permit solution a remedy for peninsula’s housing shortage
Our Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor, Cr Steve Holland, laments the proposed 7.5 per cent tax on short stay accommodation and adds that it will do nothing to fix the housing crisis (“Overnight tax ‘bad for business’” The News 26/9/23). Of course not. Short stay accommodation is an easy and lucrative way of making money out of tourism and the state, which contributes to tourism, is simply getting in on the act and raising revenue. Tourists are there for no other reason than to be exploited.
On the other hand, the mayor is uncertain of the ramifications of the removal of planning permits when building a granny flat or car port (“Uncertainty over permit changes” The News 26/9/23). A part of the solution to the housing crisis and simultaneously some other problems at crisis point, is granny flats complete with grannies.
For years, we have considered building a modest granny flat in the backyard, living in it, and letting a grandson and his family use the house which we no longer need.
With Nanny and Pa available every day.
We are not interested in profits, breakeven would be fine. But red tape, permits, unknowns and the expenses before you even dig the first hole discouraged us.
I don’t think we would be eligible for a housing ministry granny flat construction, where they do all the red tape and permits and build standardised, compliant units; but we’d be very happy to buy or rent one, or even have them manage our little project.
Perhaps, if all governments were serious about the housing crisis and social problems, they might facilitate older people who want to provide housing but can’t because it is all too daunting.
No planning permits is one very small step towards this.
Brian A Mitchelson, Mornington
Public housing the key
You could have a two lane mud track from Melbourne, and it would only put a small dent in the 8.2m domestic visitors (“Overnight tax ‘bad for business’” The News 26/9/23) March 22 – March 23.
The mayor [Cr Steve] Holland said the short term accommodation tax announcement was a “huge disappointment” and would severely impact the “struggling tourism and hospitality sectors” (refer to previous statement) and said the levy would override the [Mornington Peninsula] shire’s short stay rental local law and fail to solve the housing and rental affordability problem. However, there is anecdotal evidence that it does in the short term.
The reality is the only thing that will solve the problem is a significant investment in public housing. Building more unaffordable housing will not work.
Public housing in Singapore is subsidised, built, and managed by the government of Singapore. In 2022 77 per cent was public housing.
And then the paradigm of [what] a home is has to change to more affordable construction methods besides bricks and mortar. There are factory built homes that are top notch in the mix of alternatives, 3D homes, tiny homes, shipping container homes, granny flat or backyard studio, prefab cabin or modular homes, floating apartment complexes.
Joe Lenzo, Safety Beach
Once again I wish to express my disappointment with a decision made by the Mornington [Peninsula] Shire Council. It claims to be interested in making the peninsula more appealing as a tourist destination but, in my opinion, continues to make decisions that are more likely to deter tourists from visiting the area.
At Mount Martha north beach parking area we have had a very popular asset in Bussy McBusface, a service which supplied coffee and some food to many people in the area, especially during the COVID pandemic crisis.
I and many other locals are very disappointed that this facility has had to withdraw its services due to a dramatic increase in the rent for the site imposed by the council on the owners.
The council provided a site and virtually nothing else. The owners had to run a generator to provide the electricity required and carry water in containers from a tap.
It seems to me that the council is like many of the greedy landlords that exist who are more intent on gouging as much money from their renters forgetting that these people are providing a service that attracts people to the region.
Terry Langley, Mount Martha
Accept the change
Indigenous people are extending their hand for recognition in the Australian Constitution. The question is – will we take it?
If we vote Yes to the referendum, it will be a win win for all of us Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in our country Australia.
Some of us have worked in Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland Indigenous communities. We have become aware of deaths in custody and family trauma. Others of us have seen in the media reports about government monies allocated but not fully used for the peoples’ needs – rather kept by the service providers.
A Voice to Parliament opportunity means Indigenous people will be able to represent their own people regarding their needs and the use of public monies.
We can all become more aware of the story for Indigenous people in our country by watching NITV, ABC and SBS programs presenting issues of the lives of the people who wish to walk alongside us into the future.
Wally Sharman, Mornington
From the heart is what is needed for the Voice to succeed. Forget the rhetoric about the rights and wrongs from either side. When we look into our own hearts, we can see what needs to be done.
We know that visiting far-flung areas and seeing the humpies isn’t working, either.
The reason is that the bureaucrats and governments stopped listening long ago. Even though they saw the dire living conditions of no water, taps, or flooring, they did nothing.
Simple living that you and I take for granted was not given to the Indigenous people.
These are first Australians, and yet those who came long afterwards treated them as less than human. They brutalised them. They took their lands and continued to ignore the rights that are theirs, and destroyed a long heritage of truth-telling, stories from long ago.
They are our people, our equals and as much as that will make some draw in their breath, that’s another truth. All we need to do is listen, open our hearts and recognise Indigenous people in the Constitution. It is the least we can do and what the Indigenous people ask of us.
Anne Kruger, Rye
Voice not needed
A Voice to Parliament would have no difference to Indigenous Australians.
There is no need to create (another) Voice to Parliament for our indigenous Australians.
We are already one nation, one country and one people where everyone should be treated the same.
I fear the Canberra Voice would push for fundamental changes to Australia at huge potential cost.
The Canberra Voice would probably want to institute reparations, High Court appeals, abolish Australia Day, and Australian flag.
Almost certainly [it would] lead to conflict with heritage laws and a demand for treaty, which would result in massive compensation.
When it’s realised Canberra Voice doesn’t work, however it’s too late to go back, as it’s in the constitution.
Australia’s Indigenous people are already well represented and currently have a voice.
Government has always been able to listen to Indigenous people and provide them with whatever they wish.
A Canberra Voice would only bring expectation for the federal government to support all requests, and if refused likely awkward court appeals. We don’t require another tier of bureaucracy with more red tape, delays and continuing unnecessary cost.
The proposal is wrongly presented and unfairly conducted. Totally unnecessary for the federal government to waste at least $400 million on a referendum.
Uncertainty who is Indigenous. To recognise past wrongs, aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are now provided significantly more government benefits than other Australians.
Between the last two government Census taken, there was a significant increase in the number of Australians identifying themselves as Indigenous.
A Canberra Voice would make no difference compared to all the other Indigenous voices we already have.
Voice totally unnecessary and a large financial waste of our taxes to conduct this referendum.
The way to go is to vote No.
Ian Smith, Tyabb
One and only chance
We all have the right to express our opinion, but I was so saddened to see the photo of a group of No campaigners smiling and grinning so flippantly as if it is all a game (“No sign ‘disingenuous’” Letters 26/9/23). I dread to think how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel seeing such images. No wonder the rate of calls to Indigenous helplines is multiplying.
The referendum is no game: it is a critical point in our history, coming after decades of broken promises to provide Indigenous representation, and is potentially a once-only chance for our nation to reconcile with its past. This is serious business, a heavy responsibility on us all and no trivial matter.
If the grinning group with their No placards can’t yet find it in their own hearts to accept an Indigenous Voice, they could follow the lead of distinguished Liberals who support the Indigenous Voice, including former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, former shadow attorney-general Julian Leeser, former Liberal Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, Kate Carnell AO who was ACT Liberal Chief Minister, current Liberal politicians like Bridget Archer and various frontbenchers, the Premier of Tasmania, Jeremy Rockliff, and Senator Andrew Bragg who has written that Voice is a liberal concept and a fair idea.
It also happens to be what the majority (polled at 80 per cent) of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people believe will help improve their lives.
Maureen Donelly, Mornington
No two ways
Once again your correspondent is trying to have it both ways (“No sign ‘disingenuous’” Letters 26/9/23). This is the lady who stood for parliament and won fewer votes than informal.
She quotes the Uluru statement as saying (inter alia) “When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish”. She then goes on to say, “we are simply being asked whether Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should … make representations to parliament and executive …” Making representations is not the same as having power over your destiny – ask any lawyer.
I suggest that when those children are made to attend school every day, when they are not abused or have to live in a household where mental/physical/sexual abuse is rife they will flourish.
As for [Mornington MP] Chris Crewther “insisting white Australia knows best” – well, I’m happy to listen to what those pesky Aboriginals Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price and Nyunggai Warren Mundine say.
Jack Wheeler, Mornington
It’s now personal
I’m sure The Voice is very important to most First Nations peoples. To me it’s a bit of a distraction.
However Liberal HQ, who spammed me this week with the opposition leader’s words Don’t know? vote no has just made this personal.
Encouraging me to remain ignorant and blindly reject anything I don’t know about is one hell of an insult to anyone’s intelligence. Especially when the actual proposed changes to the Constitution are so uncomplicated:
“In recognition of … the First Peoples of Australia: there shall be a body, to be called the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice;
[which] may make representations to the parliament and the executive government of the Commonwealth on matters relating to [these] peoples;
the parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws with respect to matters relating to the … Voice, including its composition, functions, powers and procedures.”
That’s it. That’s all it is. A bit of recognition and an ear for our indigenous people, which until now has been missing in our constitution. So, what’s all the fuss? I will be voting Yes.
I’m more concerned that the fossil fuel industry already has a much bigger voice in our parliament that The Voice could ever gain.
Tom Hunt, Oak Flats, NSW
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